Sent to me by Legend Press in exchange for an honest review.
Release Date: 02/05/17
Publisher: Legend Press
Format: Paperback, 362pp
Summed up in a word: Challenging
Jane Isaac caught my attention last year with Beneath The Ashes, which I reviewed for Legend Press, and I was seriously impressed. I was eager to read The Lies Within and find out how Jane has taken her work to the next level. The Lies Within was another success and I was enthralled by the challenging plot-lines, the multi-dimensional characters and brilliant writing. I have no idea what I would have done in Grace’s shoes. Thank you to Lucy for including me on this blog tour. I am posting along side plenty of amazing bloggers so make sure you check out their posts too. (See poster at the bottom of the page for more details).
Be under no illusions by her kind face and eloquent manner… This woman is guilty of murder.
Grace Daniels is distraught after her daughter’s body is found in a Leicestershire country lane. With her family falling apart and the investigation going nowhere, Grace’s only solace is the re-emergence of Faye, an old friend who seems to understand her loss.
DI Will Jackman delves into the case, until a family tragedy and a figure from his past threaten to derail him.
When the police discover another victim, the spotlight falls on Grace. Can Jackman find the killer, before she is convicted of a crime she didn’t commit?
I really enjoyed Beneath The Ashes so as soon as The Lies Within became available for review I was eager to get back into Jane Isaac’s work. The Lies Within is a dark and gritty police procedural with psychological drama/thriller elements. Grace’s loss had my stomach in knots and JI captured the emotion, confusion, grief, anxiety and irrationality of losing a child with chilling accuracy. It was good to be back with DI Jackman, his life is still as complicated as ever and he still throws himself into his work to compensate. JI took the series to another level with The Lies Within and I can’t wait to see what she has got in store for us next.
The story begins with Grace Daniels in court, on trial for murder, and after an intense prologue the story jumps back 10 months to the events that proceeded her arrest. Detective Inspector Will Jackman has been promoted to Regional Lead on Adult Sexual Offences and is reviewing a series of cases that could possibly be connected when he hears that another body has been found. The woman, Jo Lamborne, was killed on her way home from a party in similar circumstances to the other cases but this is the first murder. Jackson is appointed as senior investigating officer on the case, he has the knowledge and experience to lead the team, and he quickly sets out to figure out the connections between all the attacks.
Grace Daniels’ world has crumbled to dust around her. Her daughter Jo is gone, taken at such a young age, killed at the hands of a sadistic individual who is not being held accountable. Grace is swimming in grief, cycling through the hellish and painful emotions that come with a devastating loss. Panic, desperation, hope, darkness, pain and frustration. Gripped by the new reality she has to face, Grace is struggling to digest the situation. Grace’s story is chilling and JI’s talent as a writer really shines as she manages to capture the essence of that particular scenario perfectly. Grace was already haunted by her own grim past but Jo’s death takes her to a new level of despair.
A much needed distraction comes when Faye Campbell, an old friend from school that Grace can’t place, comes into contact with Grace and initiates a new friendship. Faye is helpful, comforting and offers to help Grace investigate Jo’s death in alongside the police. Faye manages to bring Grace back from the brink of collapse, but as casual meets turn into daily contact it seems that Faye is inserting herself into Grace’s family and they are not happy about it. Grace needs Faye to help her cope, but how much does she really know about her new friend?
JI is quickly becoming one of my favourite crime authors as she manages to create big, bold plot lines with an admirable depth of detail. Jane Isaac is in complete control of her narrative at all times; so much so that she is able to effortlessly add new characters/elements at the later stages of the story without disrupting the flow of the book. JI shows an impressive knowledge of police procedures and blends that well with a gritty and descriptive writing style. I saw the big twist a mile off but I think that was probably the idea. I found myself more invested, having an idea of what is going to happen, because I was intrigued as to how Grace got to the point that she gets put on trial for murder.
JI’s focus on both plot on characters is the reason I will keep coming back to her work. This book could have easily be 100 pages shorter but it is in these pages that JI builds up the depth necessary to pull the reader into her narrative. My only real issue with this novel is the lack of progression in Jackman’s story. His story arc is a slow burner but it is so sad and turbulent, with his wife still unresponsive, and I want him to have at least some peace. Maybe some day.
Overall I have given The Lies Within 4.5/5 stars because it was a great novel with some outstanding writing and developments threaded throughout. I recommend this to all those readers who can stomach harsher, grittier plot lines that reward the reader with a dark, interesting narrative riddled with psychological drama and thrills. Thank you again to Jane Isaac and Legend Press for including me on this blog tour. See below for plenty of amazing blogs that are also sharing posts about The Lies Within.
About Jane Isaac
Jane Isaac lives with her husband, daughter and dog, Bollo, in rural Northamptonshire.
Her first novel, An Unfamiliar Murder, was published in the US in 2012 and was nominated as best mystery in the ‘eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook awards 2013’. Jane is also the author of The Truth Will Out, Before It’s Too Late and Beneath the Ashes, published in the UK by Legend Press. The Truth Will Out, was selected ‘Crime Thriller of the Month by EThriller.com and ‘Noveltunity Book Club Winning Selection’.
Jane’s next novel The Lies Within – the third in the DI Will Jackman series – will be published by Legend Press on 2nd May 2017.
Follow Jane on Twitter @JaneIsaacAuthor